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From the Blog

Belfast's best - restaurants

07. 03. 2023

A few weeks ago, Amy wrote a post about Belfast’s best coffee shops. A lot of people read it, so Ella has joined the Belfast’s best brigade and this time, we’re talking about restaurants. Should you ever find yourself in the city, then here’s where you should go to eat. After you come to see us, of course…

At Clearbox, we’re very food-orientated team (side-eyes at John’s daily Huel…).

Our office chats usually consist of “what’s everyone having for lunch” at the eager time of 9:47am and tales of weekend eating and the latest restaurant you must check out.

In the wake of Belfast Restaurant Week (check out their tasty lunch and dinner bargs on Instagram - @belfastrestaurantweek23), I thought I would share some of my favourite foodie spots across the city.

With an amazing selection of local produce, chefs and all that good stuff, Belfast’s restaurant scene has exploded in the past few years. From lockdown pop-ups and hatches to fine dining experiences, I truly believe there’s something for everyone and the food scene in Belfast is yet to quieten down.

Add these spots to your ‘restaurants to visit in 2023 list,’ - we all have one in our notes app, and you won’t be disappointed, I promise.


If you’re on the look-out for some of the best Japanese food in Belfast, Kamakura is your go-to spot. With three locations across Belfast, you’re never too far for some expertly crafted sushi, ramen or vibrant noodles packed with a punch. Personally, Donegall Pass is the O.G location and I wouldn’t dare to switch it up. The interior transports you to a traditional izakaya in Japan with sliding doors, tables crammed in and never a dull moment.

But importantly, let me get back to the ramen. I’d go so far as saying Kamakura serves the best ramen in Belfast, it’s flawless. Noodles, meat and vegetables aside, the broth is AMAZING. A mixture of chicken and pork, it takes 24 hours to make and is absolutely packed with flavour, I couldn’t recommend it more.


The new pizza kid on the block, Orto is only a year old and already trailblazing the way for Belfast’s pizza fans. Their first location opened in Stranmillis last year and with ground-breaking success, they’ve just opened a second location in Cathedral Quarter.

Not just your average pizza place, Orto offers a fabulous selection of wood-fired pizza, filled focaccia’s, flatbreads, salads and even viennoiserie and coffee in the morning. Also, their sage green pizza oven is simply beautiful.

Different to most pizza places, Orto offers red and white pizza, your classic tomato base or a white base of garlic, cheese, olive oil, all that tasty stuff. Special shout-out to their Nduja, caramelised onion and hot honey pizza, not to be missed.

Picture copyright Sunday Life

Neighbourhood Café

Belfast’s top brunch spot, you may face a daunting queue into Neighbourhood Café, but the wait is guaranteed to be worth it.

Following a fire, Neighbourhood Café has recently moved location from Donegall Street to Commercial Court in Hadski’s old building. The new location is a forest-green fanatics dream, with cool interior, great chilled vibes and a menu where every item is worth ordering.

It goes without saying, the coffee is fantastic, as is the daily selection of pastries, sweet treats and stacks of French toast. It really is a brunch menu for everyone, with dishes easily adapted for all needs. Neighbourhood, I’ll see you soon!

Bo Tree

Bo Tree Kitchen is a Belfast institution and if you haven’t been, you really are missing out. Don’t let the Holylands put you off, it’s worth wading through pools of students, rubbish and Filthies lanyards for Bo Tree’s unbelievable Thai cuisine.

The restaurant offers anything from Thailand you are craving, from street food and drunken noodles to papaya salad, the food is so authentic, fresh and the staff are some of the friendliest.

Bo Tree is also BYO, so if you’re visiting on a Friday or Saturday night, prepare yourself for a side of chaos with your authentic stir fries and curries. I would recommend their Pad Thai, Som Tam, Red curry and coconut rice. Chef’s kiss.

La Bottega

If you’re on the lookout for a taste and feel of Italy, head to La Bottega on the Lisburn Road. This Italian café is your one-stop-shop for all things Italian, from cured meats to homemade pasta, cannolis, tiramisu and even Italian jarred goods. You won’t find any cream in their carbonara so if that’s your thing, La Bottega isn’t the place for you…

Owner Francesco is the ultimate champion of Italy and its amazing produce, and is absolutely a reason to visit La Bottega, he’s some character…

When visiting, I would recommend a pinsa, a traditional Roman flatbread with the most amazing toppings with a cheeky glass of wine or a cappuccino. Followed by a tiramisu or cannoli and you’re in for a great night.

Picture copyright Belfast Live / Justin Kernoghan

We’ll finish off with a nod to street food. If that’s more your thing, then head down to Hey Chick! in Common Market, Trademarket or the new restaurant in Botanic. And thank us later.

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